The Oak Park & River Forest High School marching band is seeing newfound success by going spooky.
The band's 2012 show, "Night Terrors," won them a generally unprecendented second-place finish in the AA division at last weekend's Amos Alonzo Stagg Marching Jamboree, finishing just over a point behind powerhouse Glenbard West.
“We don’t usually fare very well in local competitions; I would say this year it’s definitely a step up," said a happy band director Anthony Svejda. "This is actually a huge success for us... We were able to accomplish our goal, really.”
The "Night Terrors" show is an original composition in three movements—"Are You Afraid of the Dark," "The Darkness Unknown" and "Shadow Finale"—plus a snippet of Puccini's famous Nessun dorma aria ("none shall sleep.")
The, well, darker turn is a new direction for the band, Svejda noted.
“We typically do kind of a happy-joy-joy kind of thing, and we were trying to change it up a bit,” the director said. “We needed to find a show that we could put theatrical or artistic movement to, not only for our color guard, but with the band members.”
So far, it's working out well.
The Marching Huskies will next perform at Friday evening's home football game, then compete in the Wheaton North Falcon Marching Festival on Saturday morning at Wheaton North High School.